Tea Party activists across the country tell Breitbart News they are happy that John Boehner has announced he is stepping down as Speaker and resigning his seat in Congress, effective October 30.
“Back on March 1, 2011 I was the first Tea Party leader to call for Boehner to step down. Boehner’s departure from the Speakership is good for the GOP and for conservatives because as Speaker he had no agenda. We need a Speaker who will move forward with a conservative agenda and who is not afraid to fight Barack Obama,” Tea Party Nation founder Judson Phillips tells Breitbart News.
“This is a WIN for the Tea Party movement. We need to point that out,” long time Virginia Tea Party activist Mark Kevin Lloyd tells Breitbart News.
“John Boehner’s decision to resign the Speakership reflects his own recognition that he was out of step with the base of the Republican Party, and is a victory for the millions of grassroots conservatives who worked tirelessly to elect conservatives to control the Congress,” Tea Party Patriots CEO and co-founder Jenny Beth Martin said in a statement.
“Tea Party Patriots – which is far more closely in touch with the American people than the GOP leadership in their ‘Fortress Capitol Hill’ – has been working since 2012 to elect a congressional leadership that reflects America’s values: personal freedom, economic freedom, and a debt-free future,” Martin added.
Tea Party Patriots is the largest and most influential national Tea Party grassroots organization in the country.
“Boehner’s resignation represents an exceptional opportunity for the Republican Party to find its voice and re-assert the small government principles that inspire so many of us to work so hard for Republican candidates. However, we have seen these opportunities come and go before,” Nashville Tea Party founder Ben Cunningham tells Breitbart News.
“We are hoping and yes, praying, for a leader who rejects the bloated, authoritarian vision of government promoted by the far left and embraces a free and prosperous America where government is the servant and not a master,” Cunningham adds.
“We in the Ohio TEA Party Movement in Ohio welcome the resignation of Speaker John Boehner,” Tom Zawistowski, President of the “We the People Convention,” a coalition of local Ohio Tea Party groups, tells Breitbart News.
“It is time for a Speaker who will do the things that the Republican base have sent our Representative to Washington to do. Defund Planned Parenthood, stop the borrowing, stop the increased spending, stop the unwelcome and unnecessary intrusion of federal agencies into our personal lives and into our businesses. We intend to work hard to elect a new Speaker who will defend Republican values not apologize for them,” Zawistowski adds.
“We could not be more euphoric about Speaker Boehner’s impending resignation,” Joe Dugan, coordinator and co-founder of the South Carolina Tea Party Coalition Convention, tells Breitbart News.
“It is the first step in a purge of the Republican congressional leadership that for far too long has ignored the will of the People,” Dugan adds.
“The fact that outsiders like Trump, as well as those who have consistently fought for our Founding principles, like Ted Cruz, are doing so well leading up to the 2016 Presidential primaries is a testament to the end of the era of Establishment politics,” Dugan says.
“There is a new game in town, and folks are starting to pay attention to the self-serving deals in D.C. and are saying we no longer believe the lies, deception and deceit out of Washington. The voters are finally believing that they can change things, as made evident by the huge turnout for presidential debates and conservative candidate events,” Dugan adds.
“I certainly hope Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is paying close attention,” Dugan concludes.
Bill Hennessy, co-founder of the St. Louis Tea Party, has kind words for Boehner as he exits.
“While movement conservatives had plenty of disagreements with Speaker Boehner’s style and action, we have to thank him for his service to the country, understanding that he thought he was doing the right thing even when we disagreed. I also thank him for his courage in stepping aside,” Hennessy says.
Boehner appears to have been motivated by his belief of what was good for the country. As ABC News reported this morning after news of Boehner’s resignation broke:
Speaker Boehner believes that the first job of any Speaker is to protect this institution and, as we saw yesterday with the Holy Father, it is the one thing that unites and inspires us all,” an aide to Boehner told ABC News. “The Speaker believes putting members through prolonged leadership turmoil would do irreparable damage to the institution”
Many conservatives see Boehner’s resignation as a service to the country for somewhat different reasons.
“The fact that John Boehner has announced his resignation shows that conservatives in the House Republican Caucus are no longer willing to go along with the capitulation to Obama that has been heretofore reflected in the House and Senate Leadership,” former Tennessee State Representative and Tea Party endorsed challenger to Lamar Alexander (R-TN) in the 2014 GOP Primary in Tennessee, which Alexander won by 49 percent to 40 percent margin, tells Breitbart News.
“This new found willingness to fight back against ‘establishment’ forces within the Republican Party Leadership reflects a recent Fox News Poll that showed 66 percent of Republicans do not believe Republicans in Congress did all they could to stop Obama’s agenda,” Carr says.
“When John Boehner was elected Speaker following the historic Tea Party wave of 2010, it was another major victory for the grassroots. We fought incredibly hard for Mr. Boehner to be the Speaker, instead of the Establishment Republicans’ big-spender, Pete Sessions (TX-32). We expected him to hold the line on debt and deficit spending, and do everything he could to control the purse strings of government. However, soon after taking office his promises faded away,” Christina Botteri, a long-time Tea Party activist in California tells Breitbart News.
“Sad that such a long career would finish on such an ignoble note. In the end, John Boehner was one of the best Speakers the Democrats ever had,” Botteri concludes.
Tea Party Patriots CEO Martin has some advice for the House as it selects its next Speaker.
“What Tea Party Patriots want in the leadership of the GOP – in both chambers of Congress – are men and women who will stand up and fight the Obama Administration’s never-ending efforts to ‘fundamentally transform’ our nation into a country our Founders would not recognize,” Martin said in a statement.
“Individual liberty, constitutionally limited government, and free markets – these are the bedrock values that made our nation the most successful the world has ever seen, and the principles to which we must adhere if we are to ensure that future generations enjoy the freedom and prosperity that was handed to us,” Martin added.
The St. Louis Tea Party’s Hennessy thinks Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) would make a good successor to Boehner.
“For the future, our movement and our country would be best served by a positive and optimistic Speaker who understands that we have a moral imperative to advance conservative principles—principles that offer the best hope to rise out of poverty and pursue happiness. Principles that respect life and offer the chance for every American to thrive. Having just met Rep. Jim Jordan at Heritage Action’s Sentinel Summit, I can’t think of a better person for the job of Speaker at this pivotal moment in history,” Hennessy adds.
Long-time Tennessee Tea Party activist Mark Skoda also supports either Jordan or Trey Gowdy as Boehner’s successor.
“I have been one of those supporting the removal of Boehner,” Skoda tells Breitbart News.
“ So as this opportunity now presents itself, I have been focused on two people for leadership: Jim Jordan or Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC),” Skoda says.
“I like both men and in particular find Jordan to be both business like and highly conservative. He is charismatic, demonstrates a superior understanding of the issues, is a highly rated conservative but has also demonstrated a unique ability to lead while not leaving the broader Republican caucus behind,” Skoda adds.
“Certainly, Jordan has demonstrated his views towards smaller government, tax reform and a balanced budget while also espousing key issues important to social conservatives. In this light, Jordan appears to be the whole package. In the end, conservatives must balance our desire for our voices to be heard with the ability to govern. Jordan appears to be able to do both through his pragmatic views and Midwest values,” Skoda concludes.
“The next Speaker whoever it might be would do well to not only read and understand the Constitutional responsibilities of Congress but read the Republican Party Platform,” Tennessee’s Joe Carr tells Breitbart News.
“It is very explicit in its support that life begins at conception, marriage is between a man and woman, Obamacare is a fraud, illegal immigration is a violation of our national sovereignty and negotiating with with the terrorist state Iran is a betrayal of our national security. Republicans across this land expect, indeed demand, that our Republican elected officials fight for these principles that define us as Republicans,” Carr notes.
Other Tea Party activists are taking a wait and see attitude.
“I haven’t decided who I am supporting yet. I’m waiting to see who throws their hat in the ring,” Tea Party Nation’s Phillips says.
Majority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Boehner’s second-in-command, is likely to announce his candidacy to replace Boehner as Speaker, and starts with an organizational advantage over any competitors. However, though he has been warming to conservative opponents of Boehner recently, he has been strongly aligned with Boehner’s non-combative, establishment Republican approach to cooperating with the Democratic agenda.
The Hill reported this morning that one potential candidate, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), will not seek to replace Boehner.
Boehner’s decision to resign, announced just a few hours ago, comes as such a surprise none of the other potential candidates for Speaker have had sufficient time to determine whether they will seek to announce their candidacies to replace him.